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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Kiunga Biosphere Reserve is located on the northernmost part of Kenya’s coast, about 16 km south of the Somali border. On the coastal strip, there are sandy beaches with sand dunes and dry coastal shrubby forest. The coast consists of parallel lines of old and living reefs with one line situated 1,6-16 km offshore forming a chain of about 50 calcareous islands composed of coral and organic debris. In-between the islands and the coast, there are sheltered and calm water habitats. The biosphere reserve is important for nesting seabirds, green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and dugongs (Dugong dugon) and hosts relatively pristine mangroves.
Within the marine reserve, only traditional fishing with approved methods is permitted. Human impacts on the environment derive from the collection of corals and shells, used in burning for lime. Poaching of green turtles and dugongs has also been reported.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) are collaborating to enhance the management of the Kiunga Marine Reserve since 1996. Focus is on the conservation of the outstanding biodiversity, natural resources and ecology of the area through consensus-based management with the full participation of local communities. Research and monitoring is carried out on the status of coral reefs, their threats such as fishing, shell collecting, sedimentation, and pollution in the Kenyan marine reserves.
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical coastal/marine zone including coral reefs
  Major habitats & land cover types   Sub-littoral zone with microscopic marine plants; intertidal sand and mud with marine angiosperms; dwarf shrub thicket areas with salt tolerant species; mangrove swamps; coral reefs
  Location   01°75' to 02°15'S; 41°00' to 41°15'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   60,000
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +30
  Year designated   1980
  Administrative authorities   Kiunga Marine National Reserve Kenya Wildlife Service
  Brief description   Ecological monitoring
Status of coral reefs, and threats such as fishing, shell collecting, sedimentation, and pollution
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Pollution, pollutants, siltation/sedimentation.
  Biodiversity   Coral reefs, ecology, methodologies.
  Socio-economic   Fishery/Fisheries.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address    
Kiunga Marine National Reserve
Lamu District - P.O. Box 82
  Web site

Last updated: 11/05/2000

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